If you’re a person like me, who’s not real fussy about change, you probably can’t relate to Karyn’s angst, but most people would find it easy to nod their head and say, “Sure I can see how that would be disturbing.” I just don’t feel emotionally attached to things. It’s just a house. It’s just a phone number. I wonder if that’s something I need to work on. Am I missing out with my, “C’est La Vie,” attitude?
Not being sentimental has its merits. My husband David loves that he never needs to buy me a birthday gift or anniversary card, but the real advantage to being uber-practical, is the comfort I get in knowing that I can handle whatever is thrown at me. If you’re not busy mourning the loss and right away start planning your gain, the fear is eliminated.
I had an ah-ha moment ten years ago that stuck with me. My daughter Rachel moved to Seattle after she graduated from college. I spent a few days there, helping her get settled into her tiny one bedroom apartment. She went off to work and I had time to get comfortable in her new little nest. That’s when it hit me: I was loving the simplicity of the small space. I realized, if I lost my big house, and my world was limited to a couple of rooms with a bathroom, I would be okay. You read stories all the time, of people who suffer heart-breaking losses. They’re surprised to find out how little they need to be happy.
Ever since I heard the Rabbi’s sermon, I’ve been asking the question to others: “Do you remember your childhood phone number?” My friends and family have sweet memories of country party lines, using slugs to make a call and a telephone book listing that read “teen’s phone.” Thinking of an ordinary thing like a phone number can bring us closer to a moment in time when life was simpler and you knew where you stood. At some point, that which grounds us may change. You’ll lose your lucky penny. A loved one will die. You’ll find a new home. Let go. Trust God to give you strength to move on. Trust yourself to roll with the punches and be better for the loss.
In the tiny rooms of this apartment,
I praise You.
Only through You do I have shelter.
Only by your hand, do I have laundry to do,
food to prepare, and dishes to wash.
It may not be a vast palace
or a mansion full of servants,
but it is where I am.
I praise You for all You have given me.